A couple of weeks ago Kimpex asked me to try out and review the LS2 MX453 Dual Sport helmet.
This is not a new helmet – it has been around since 2013 – however the brand itself is new enough to the Canadian market that many riders have not yet tried one on.
I tried one on for the first time at the Kimpex trade show in 2015 and I was impressed enough at the time to suggest that I would be happy to do a full review at a later date.
Who is LS2 ?
LS2 has become the top selling helmet brand in Europe and is the house brand of a Chinese company that have been manufacturing helmets for other companies since 1991.
That is to say, they know what they are doing, and that is obvious from the moment you slide one over your melon. Your long-oval shaped melon, to be precise.
There are no integrated channels for my eye glasses to slide into.
That’s it. That is the extent of my list of "cons" or negatives about this helmet. My eyeglasses have a very tight fit. And I am sure that within another 20 hours or so, the foam will have relaxed enough that even that will no longer be an issue.
Well, let’s start with value-for-dollar-spent: you can currently pick this helmet up for $229.00 Canadian ($179.00 on sale).
That is a great price for a full featured Dot/ECE rated adventure helmet.
Once I put it on I found myself wondering why I spent almost $800.00 on my Italian-made adventure helmet. The MX453 is even more comfortable, and it does not suffer the inherent fogging issues that plagued the other helmet.
Like all adventure helmets, the MX453 has an extended jaw with large front ventilation. It has a non-adjustable peak to help keep the sun and debris from hitting you in the shield and it has a fairly light-weight fibreglass tri-composite outer shell.
One of the highlights, besides the incredible comfort inside of the helmet, is the extra-wide cut-out, providing incredible peripheral vision. I have worn quite a few helmets over the last 130,000 kilometers and the MX453 has a field of view as wide or wider than any I have ever worn.
I have only spent about 15 hours in this helmet so far, so I cannot speak to long-term wear, but I can tell you that everything feels solid. There are no flimsy bits that cause me concern long-term.
The shield has a unique shape to it in that it has an under-rolled ridge along the bottom of the shield, allowing for a gentler curve across the field of view, and therefore much less distortion. As a matter of fact the shield is optically correct unless I look straight down my nose and even then distortion is minimal. The seal is good, and the shield will hold its position no matter where I set it. It is friction-controlled rather than using ratchet settings, so you are not limited to 2 or 3 settings for the shield opening.
As for air-flow, there is a ton! The large front jaw vent allows a lot of air in, and there is no chin curtain so air does come in from below as well. The top vents are adjustable and allow good flow, with large exhaust ports at the back drawing that warm, moist air out from the inside.
The jaw and top vents can easily be open/closed with gloves on.
As for sound levels, this helmet is on par with most other adventure helmets that I have tried. Remember, it breathes a lot of air. I have not yet tried the helmet on my DR650 with no windshield, but on the V-Strom with a Givi Airflow wind screen I have no complaints about noise.
The peak has large cut-outs in it, reducing buffeting to a minimal level, so there are no terrible lift or buffeting issues.
But it is the fit where, in my opinion, this helmet really shines. As I mentioned above, this is an incredibly comfortable helmet. The cheek pads fit snug to my cheeks, the neck roll feels great, and after an 8 hour ride I did not have a single hot-spot or pressure point.
The entire liner and cheek pads are removable for washing purposes, and I am certain that my Uclear 100 Plus headset will have no problem with fit.
If you are in the market for an adventure helmet, do yourself a favor and check out the LS2 MX453 Dual Sport helmet before you make your purchase. If you are a long-oval fit, you will likely be adding an LS2 MX453 to your list of favorites.